Spruce up your rental home

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Even though you are renting your place, there are more than a few cosmetic changes that can be done to improve living conditions.    Add personal touches here and there with accessories.

Let's be honest, there are some landlords out there who really don't care about the state of a bathroom in a rental property. As long as the toilet flushes and the taps work, they think that's all that needs to be done. And when the demand is high for rental properties, you sometimes just have to settle for something that isn't quite up to standard.

While it is always best to discuss any modifications with your landlord, don't just approach and ask, put together an idea of the planned changes and how these will add value to the property, or arrange to change the bathroom back to its original condition when you leave.

If you are prepared to fork out for the expense for any changes, what landlord wouldn't be happy to agree to improvements? And be sure to get any approval in writing.

Here’s what you can do to spruce up your bathroom in a rental home:

Grab a can of paint

One of the easiest ways to update a bathroom is with paint.

At a cost of around R400 per 5 litre tin you can easily freshen up the grungiest bathroom. But if the paint is bubbled or peeling, do some prep work beforehand.

You will find helpful tips for cleaning a bathroom here.

Should you decide to paint the bathroom in a colour other than white, either discuss this with your landlord or be prepared to paint the room white before you move out.

Good to know

Bathroom windows that don't allow air to circulate in a bathroom will generally lead to excess condensation, and perhaps even mould around fittings, on walls or the ceiling.   

Leaving the door open after bathing or showering will help circulate fresh air, or look at the option of installing an extractor fan. For this type of project, get permission from the landlord and have this done professionally.

Build a stylish bathroom vanity

In a bathroom that offers little storage, think about making your own bathroom vanity.

A sheet of supawood that is 2 700mm wide and 1 830mm high costs around R500, and that's a big sheet of board, more than enough to make a decent-sized bathroom vanity with shelves and storage drawers.

When you think that a ready-made bathroom vanity will cost around R2 000, putting your DIY skills to good use will not only save you a bundle, it also means that you can design a freestanding bathroom vanity that fits into the space.

Cover up or clean disgusting floors

There are several options to consider for bathroom floors that are dirty and disgusting.

The most affordable option would be to get down on your hands and knees and give tiles and grout a good scrubbing. After cleaning, you may find that only the grout needs to be whitened to improve the look of the floor, and you can do this with Tubby DIY Grout Sealer.

If the floor is simply beyond repair, think about covering up with vinyl tiles or vinyl sheet cut to fit. You will find a selection of these products at your local Builders.

Self-adhesive vinyl tiles will stick nicely and be reasonably easy to remove in the event that the landlord prefers the floor to be returned to its original condition. Use Genkem Glue Remover to clean away any adhesive residue.

Where you can't find self-adhesive vinyl tiles, make sure the existing floor is clean and dry and then use double-sided carpet tape to secure vinyl tiles to the floor.

If you are prepared to foot the bill if the landlord won't, and you plan on staying in your rental home for as long as possible, you can consider the option of installing mosaic tile over the top of the existing tiles, as long as the tiles are in good condition. 

You will find a varied assortment of glass and stone tiles at your local Builders, and can pick these up at a reasonable price if you keep a look out for special offers.

Even ceramic tiles to cover up an ugly floor needn't cost an arm and a leg. You will find good quality tiles at around R90 per square metre, and a standard bathroom of about 2m by 3m will only cost around R600.

Cover up vinyl flooring or ugly tiles with a decorative rug.

Good to know

If you are laying tiles on top of tiles you will probably need to trim the bottom of the bathroom door. You can use a planer, jigsaw or circular saw to trim off any excess. You will find helpful tips on how here.

There are plenty of small cosmetic changes that can be done to improve a bathroom. Shop around for accessories such as a shower curtain, towels and décor that will enhance the bathroom.

When planning to do any improvements to a rental bathroom on a DIY basis, be prepared to put in extra effort to ensure that the improvements are done professionally.

If it's a job well done, it will only add to the value of the property and the landlord may be willing to reimburse for certain expenses once he or she sees the benefit of the work done.

Finally, add personal touches here and there with accessories.  Article courtesy of

Author: Property 24

Submitted 28 Apr 15 / Views 3922